FC Parson Drove
Ground Number: 887
Friday 11th October 2019
FC Parson Drove 3-2 Moulton Harrox
Peterborough & District League Premier Division
FC PARSON DROVE - A BRIEF HISTORY
The club was established in 1921 by the headmaster of the local council school. They've played in the Peterborough & District League for the majority of their history. They won Division 1 in 1949 and 1959 (as Parson Drove FC) but the most successful period was in the late 60s and early 70s when they won the majority of their seven Premier Division titles whilst playing under the name of Parson Drove United. The club applied to join the Eastern Counties League in 1988 but after being rejected, players lost interest and the ground fell into disrepair so they disbanded shortly after. When the cub was resurrected in 1992, they started out in Division 6. They worked their way back up the leagues, winning Division 1 in 2004 and returning to the Premier Division. The club folded midway through the 2013/14 season but was re-established in 2017 when Wisbech St Mary Saints moved into the ground and changed their name. They started out in Division 2, winning the title in their debut season. They followed that up last season, winning the Division 1 title and losing just once all season. This season sees them sitting in mid-table after a solid start to the season.
As Parson Drove United, the club had a couple of memorable runs in the FA competitions. The 1979/80 season saw them reach the FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round. After beating Chelsmford City, Felixstowe Town and Kings Lynn, they lost out in a narrow 1-0 defeat at Burton Albion. They'd reached the FA Vase 3rd Round in 1976/77 - beating March Town United, Holt United and City Of Norwich School Old Boys United before going out to Peterborough Rovers after a replay. In local cups, Parson Drove are two-time winners of the Cambridgeshire Invitation Cup and completed a treble in 2018 when they won the Cambridgeshire Junior Cup and North Cambridgeshire Junior Cup.
I was originally intending to stay in and watching the England game on this day. A lot of non-league clubs had organised games for this night, which seemed strange with the England game on the night and Non-League Day the following day. Chris suggested Parson Drove and I told him I'd let him know. I made my decision on Wednesday morning after a boozy Tuesday night in Manchester, figuring that getting out to a game would be far healthier than staying in with a few cans in front of the TV. The day of the game came and my body clock woke me up at my usual work time and so I had loads of time to kill. Rain thwarted my plans to walk down town, so I was glad when 3pm came and it was time to leave. The journey over to Chris was a pain. I left at 3.10 as I wanted to go to a shop to get a drink. Usually, it takes under an hour, but on this occasion, I wasn't with Chris until 4.45. He used his local knowledge to help us avoid the worst of the jams. We were at the ground by 6.30. The local advertised 'Red Bus' takeaway was nowhere to be seen, so we had to settle for some crisps and a pint from a local pub, The White Swan. It was a shame it was under an hour until kickoff as the food looked great. We got back to the ground just after 7, but no hot food was available, so we just went outside.
Both sides were on inconsistent form. Parson Drove were 6th in the table and though they'd started September well with a 9-0 win over ICA Sports and a 4-2 win at Tydd they'd drawn 3-3 at home to Long Sutton and lost 3-2 at home to Uppingham since. Moulton Harrox were third, they'd beaten Oakham United in their last game which was their first league win since August. The game kicked off at 7.25 and the hosts were ahead within 4 minutes. No team details were available, but a good through ball found #7 who finished well from an acute angle. On 24 minutes it was 2-0 when a cross was headed home and the game looked over when Parson Drove made it 3-0 on 41 minutes,a low shot from the edge of the area with the visiting keeper stranded. The hosts were well on top and Moulton Harrox's players were getting frustrated with one booked for kicking the ball away. Parson Drove came close to making it 4-0 ten minutes into the second half, crashing a shot against the bar from well outside the area. With around twenty minutes to go, Moulton Harrox grabbed what looked like a consolation goal from an excellent free-kick which I got on camera. They made a real fist of a comeback in the remainder of the game, a low shot from just inside the area four minutes later sparking a few scares for the hosts in the remainder of the game though.
In the end, though, it was the majority of the 80 or so crowd that went home happy. Chris and I headed for home. Listening to the radio on the way home, we heard of England's 2-1 defeat in the Czech Republic. Of course, with it being our first qualifying defeat in ten years, there was the usual hyperbole. There was even a call to bring back Wayne Rooney into the national side. We stopped for food at KFC on the way home, having a daredevil bites box each which was OK, but nothing special. There was the usual fun and games with road diversions and closures and as a result, I didn't drop Chris off until around 11.25. I needed a few bits of shopping, so stopped at Tesco, getting home around 12.40. I stayed up for just over an hour typing this blog amongst other things, getting to sleep around 2am.
Main Road is an excellent venue for step 7 football. There are the usual dull 'Arena' metal stands, there are two of these seated units, holding 50 people each. There's also a more attractive wooden stand on the other side, this also holds around 50. The ground is one of the few to be floodlit at this level. The tea bar is quite basic with no hot food and the only pub is around 10 minutes walk away, albeit, The White Swan appears to do good food in a good atmosphere if you have time to spare.